Lib Dem Conference: Blair `has failed to quell anxiety on GM farming'
Thursday 23 September 1999
Mr Kennedy, in his first speec to the conference as leader, urged the party to be "bolder" in its approach to the environment and back calls to impose a five-year moratorium on growing GM crops for commercial use.
In a personal attack on Tony Blair, he said the Prime Minister had failed to quell "the legitimate public anxiety" over the controversial science. "Science should be a servant of society. It must never be a master of society. After the disastrous handling of this issue the public do not even trust `trust me Tony'," Mr Kennedy said.
He stressed that environmental issues should be "an absolutely fundamental issue" for the party. "It has always been central but we have to go further. We have to be bold in our approach," he said.
However, Mr Kennedy faced criticism from several activists who warned the party not to let "hysteria triumph over common sense and scientific evidence".
Tim Farron, of Westmoreland and Lonsdale, spoke of the "wilful and incorrect" information that had characterised the debate during the past two years. "A moratorium would be an unnecessary and unworthy concession to tabloid hysteria," he added.
But the party later backed the new policy motion to protect organic and other non-GM crops in neighbouring fields by subjecting them to much bigger isolation distances. They should also be monitored by independent assessors rather than biotechnology companies running the experiments. The motion called for a statutory legal liability without time limitation on the producers of GM products for any adverse health or environmental effects.
Earlier, delegates backed an emergency motion on the British farming crisis.
interviewThe producer and activist, Trudie Styler, whose film 'Filth' is up for five film awards, is tapping into the industry's neglected female talent
musicBlack Sabbath have pulled off one of rock music’s great comebacks – against all odds
interviewHer estate has become the nation's glossiest food empire
theatreTheatre's hitmaker Daniel Evans on 'Oliver' and bringing 'The Full Monty' to the stage
food + drinkMichelin-starred Tom Sellers on being this year's hottest property
tvParents (and kids) rejoice! A new wave of fantastic family entertainment is here
booksGeese, gorillas, grandads... and growing up
food + drinkHow one grocery e-tailer is gearing up for the Yuletide rush
food + drink
travelFor broadcaster Mishal Husain, a long-haul Club Med holiday was a chance for her family to explore its sense of 'zen' and 'animation'
food + drinkFestive snacks don't have to be fiddly, says Bill Granger
Hundreds arrested as Canadian police smash worldwide paedophile ring
Nelson Mandela: 11 inspirational quotes to live your life by
Ja Rule forced to deny leaving wife for prison cell mate
The 'terrorist' and the Tories: What did Nelson Mandela really think of Margaret Thatcher?
Crash pilot who threatened Ukip leader Nigel Farage found dead
- 1 Hundreds arrested as Canadian police smash worldwide paedophile ring
- 2 Sherlock series 3: Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman provide teasers for the biggest comeback in British television
- 3 David Duke: Former Ku Klux Klan leader expelled from Italy
- 4 Why Barcelona chose Everton to educate their latest prodigy
- 5 Japan cracks down on leaks after scandal of Fukushima nuclear power plant
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
£80000 - £100000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Harrington Starr: Project Manag...
£50000 - £60000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Harrington Starr: Business Analy...
£30000 - £40000 per annum + Bonus and Benefits: Harrington Starr: A global Con...
£150 - £250 per day: Cornwallis Elt : iPhone Rollout- Blackberry Enginee...